Big Data initiative: partnership between IsoMemo and PRIMDAT/HOMDAT databases

A partnership has been established between the IsoMemo initiative and the PRIMDAT and HOMDAT pre-Holocene hominin and human stable isotope databases (MPI-SHH).

August 15, 2017

The stable isotope group at the MPI-SHH, headed by Dr. Patrick Roberts, focuses on the application of stable isotope methods to questions of past hominin (including human) and faunal diet, ecology, and environment. These practical applications alongside data mining from the existing literature are leading to the development and publication of databases collating modern and fossil primate stable isotope measurements from around the world (PRIMDAT) and pre-Holocene hominin and human stable isotope measurements, primarily from Africa and the tropics (HOMDAT).

Recently, PRIMDAT and HOMDAT became partners of the IsoMemo initiative. The IsoMemo Big Data initiative ( brings together multiple repositories of stable and radioactive isotopic data within the fields archaeology, ecology, and environmental sciences. The goals of the initiative are to establish common data standards, sharing and centralization of data, creating tools (e.g. user friendly graphical interfaces) for facilitating data sharing, and building interdisciplinary projects. The initiative has already established partnerships with twenty different isotopic databases developed by research groups from different scientific fields and based across the world. The initiative is headed by Dr. Ricardo Fernandes, who recently joined the MPI-SHH.

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